tv The Chris Matthews Show NBC October 21, 2012 10:00am-10:30am EDT
message. >> this is the "chris matthews show." >> in america we celebrate success. >> i never said this journey would be eier. >> the polls are going wild. somehow this thing going to end? the deciders. if obama wins, what will get the credit? same for romney, what would have done it for him? what would history say were the key factors in making one guy the winner and the other the loser? did the campaign party or was it reality that made the call? >> there's a 1950's to mitt romney's feel it's where women stay home. will this be a turn-off in the 21st century or where women vote for the businessman that promises jobs.
[captioning made possible by nbc universal] chris: i'm chris matthews. with me today michael duffy, andrea mitchell, kathleen parker and john harris. what will win the difference? for president obama, here's a short must-do list for the two weeks ahead. number one project what he's done into the positive future. ramp up that positive message. obama backs the middle-class. romney can't wait to help the rich. in monday night's debate especially on the issue of libya. and here's a list for romney, keep asking voters are you better off? present yourself as a strong fixer of voters' economic troubles. and look like a commander in chief. this is a tightened race and romney may be the one on offense right now. >> he has to be because he's still a little bit behind in the key states. his job is fairly simple. 16 days tops.
he's got to keep the focus on his economic message of lower taxes for everyone whether that's possible or not the long run. he's got to show on foreign policy that you keep the boat in the channel that's a minimum requirement of doing the job. the third thing is, he's got about $150 million to spend. they have to spend it carefully and weijsly in about eight to nine states. and if they do that he could make it close -- >> with the super pac included. obama won on points but it wasn't enough to stop the momentum coming out of that first debate? >> he won on points and he conveyed messages to women. i think he could have been more impathetic to the questions. neither of them answered me. he was so intent on fixing, he forgot -- chris: why do you think that's important? >> there was a stagecraft that he didn't quite accomplish --
chris: knowing what you know, that's who they are. >> that's who they are but they have to have some showmanship. the risk is really harder from the president because he has to combat come ni's most effective comeback which is what makes you think he'll do better in these four years than he did in the last four years? chris: i agree with that. now the romney take -- if he win this is election, what will he win it with? >> it would be with that message that he is the fix it guy as you put it. i want to segway something back to what andrea said. to the point he made, bill clinton won with his empathy factor in a town hall approaching the person asking the question and asking her a question. and in that little exchange he
cinched it. >> bill clinton in his sfeach in ohio as in his convention speech is doing exactly what barack obama needs to do b the secretary of explaining stuff. chris: yeah, and also could he have alsoed show that he wasn't the bully. >> with obama? chris: yeah. he could have shown i'm the kind of guy that will listen to you. >> it is the message he's tried to convey to women over and over. his campaign has been endorsing this eye that the republican party are waging war on women and so that was an opportunity for him. chris: you have to make it personal. romney won that first debate big time. he got in the door of acceptbility.
a lot of people looked at him and said, yeah, he's ok. is there any way to reverse that if you're obama? >> i mean, the question is to me with whether the electorate is looking for a reason to vote for mitt romney or they're fundamentally looking for a reason to vote for barack obama. i've been thinking all along that people are looking for obama to give them a reason. a reason to vote for him. it's called into question by denver. and the question is whether the obama attack is like medicine. you try it once but you can't use it again. and whether romney has inoculated himself against the obama attack. and i think we're going to see that. obama clearly won the second debate. but so far at least we haven't seen the dramatic swing in the poll. chris: he didn't knock him out. obama got knocked out in the first debate. he didn't knockout the guy in
the second debate. >> obama is spending time on these silly things like the big bird -- >> the romney team is too. >> they're going to counter attack. chris: it's almost irresistible. it's fun. we asked the matthews meter, it seems an image you can't complete. 12 of our regulars including andrea could boil it all down. which side has the heavier lift? seven say the president has the heavier list. five say mitt romney still does. andrea you voted with the seven. in other words the challenge is on the president to turn this election on this election. >> tell people how this is going to be different. you can tear mitt romney down but he let him back in in denver because romney with all the money they've spent millions and millions they've spent, hammered away on romney to make him unacceptable. he's now acceptable.
chris: does everyone agree with that? the president has to make a case for four more years. he for whatever reason hasn't done it. >> it's the central mystery of this campaign, why he hasn't laid out what he's going to do. is it military reform, tax reform -- chris: is it auto industry. >> he decided not to do this. >> i don't know when the moment will come. is it after the election? chris: i don't know that attacking the other guy is going to work. >> if you were to put obama on truce, here's what i would do, it wouldn't be politically popular. the fact that he wants to cut a deal immediately following the election that would cut entitlements. chris: why doesn't he say something about the auto industry? >> the auto industry is popular in key states but not popular in
other states. chris: let's get to libya. he's got to have closure. >> he's got to have closure on monday night. in real-time as the attack was taking place, the operation centered -- chris: was it in benghazi? >> it was in open line to washington and to tripoli. so the intelligence people knew. washington knew. everyone knew that there had been no protest. it was peaceful. the ambassador had walked a dinner guest outside the gate at 8:30 and at 9:30 horrids of heavy armed militia came over the wall. chris: why did they put out the word? why did the ambassador of the united nations put out the word on five television shows there was really a protest. >> there was an intelligence report the day after quoting people in the streets saying oh, we're doing this because of the video. that is intelligence. that's real intelligence. they have to be assessed. they're evaluating what you have
to see with your eyes an from what you're hearing from the streets. it took too long and that's the explanation. chris: too hard for him to explain or can't do it? >> i think he's got to. governor romney gave him the opening. >> he has to address it to the nation and clarify the story. this is what happened. this is why we had mixed stories. i want to make clear to the american people that we are in charge but we didn't want to start talking -- chris: i am with you. i know -- >> to preempt the whole -- chris: most people assume if it looks -- if it's better than it looks, then they'll tell you. let's finish up this segment right now. what's it better to go in the last two weeks as the underdog people are rooting for? come on, people, you can do it. or you can be the woman with confidence? >> clearly confidence. they want to back a winner.
chris: kathleen? >> right now, clearly, romney has that momentum. he looks like the winner right now. >> you want to be riding a wave of support real or imaginative but you want to be seen as a fighter so you can say, yeah, he gets this. he doesn't thing he has this locked up yet. >> i'm with duffy. you want to be seen as someone fighting if people especially when people are hurting. chris: i think you want to win. [laughter] >> one of the rights of every presidential election, the center of new york politics, the new york catholic archdiocese entails great political humor. >> let's just say that some in the media have a certain way of looking at things when suddenly i pulled ahead in some of the major polls. what was the headline? polls show obama leading from behind. and i've already seen early reports from tonight's dinner. headline, obama embraced by
catholics. romney dies with rich people. >> it turns out millions of americans focused in on the second debate who didn't focus in on the first debate and i happen to be one of them. i particularly want to apologize to chris matthews. four years ago i gave him a thrill up his leg. this time around i gave him a stroke. chris: there's a great tradition. candidates have shown up to rip each other and support the charities. in 1980 ronald reagan did his impression of jimmy carter. >> i'd like to scotch those rumors that recent enter changes have cut off all communications between president carter and myself. in fact, i had a phone call the other night and the voice started familiar. rana, how come you look younger
every time i see a picture you riding horseback. i say, well, jimmy, that's easy. i just keep riding older. chris: george bush talked to the new york crowd. >> i realized i haven't seen so many people so well dressed since i went to a come as you are party in kennebunkport. >> this is an impressive crowd to have and the have mores. some people call you the elite. i call you my base. chris: it was a well-off crowd there, i can can tell you. when we come back we'll talk about american women and putting aside abortion issues. it's the pocketbook.
chris: welcome back. a lot of talk in recent days about the war for women. barack obama started with a big edge. our nbc "wall street journal" poll in september before the debates had women saying they favored the president on issues of concern to women. on "the view" ann romney argued people care about economic issues more than reproductive rights. >> i hear help, economic help. absolutely. women are going to have a choice. i mean, it's clear. if you're really want to make a choice and if those choices are about reproductive life, that's your choice. chris: well, we looked sat some polls -- we looked at some
polls. there was a big gender gap. asked which candidate was better prepared, women argued 47-38, obama. among white women the numbers flip. romney was preferred on jobs by white women. 49-36, a complete flip. so andrea this question -- >> what do women want? it's white college educated women which is the subset that they're really targeting. is it going to the economy, reproductive rights? chris: what about issues like health care, taking care of your aging parents? >> many people -- women --
romney favors access to contraception. but he said during the primary said he would support the brunt amendment, and it was made possible for employers to opt out of any contraceptive help. chris: based on their own thinking. >> based on their own moral, religious thinking. that means that women employees would have to go on the marketplace and find their own help on contraception. >> go ahead. i'll wait. chris: kathleen, you're writing your new column in "the washington post" and syndicated around the world. the obama campaign couldn't be more thrilled on the issue. the evidence of which is the movement of women voters towards romney. kathleen explain it. that's a big movement after the
first debate. >> women are moving -- apparently they've moved back to obama back towards the second debate. who knows what will happen after the third? women do actually think differently than men. i know you're shocked. they said abortion is number one. women next on the men's list were taxes. taxes were on the bottom -- chris: why is that? both sides of the gender aisle pay taxes. men are more tax sensitive. >> the men's lineup is very much towards business and the women's was much more towards family, heath, equity -- health equity. chris: let's talk something more interesting than this policy. behavior in the debates. romney came strong, confident, i can win this. obama was much more passive. second debate a little more aggressive. but romney was in command in many ways. how do women react to that?
>> all romney had to do was not be weird because he's been portrayed as this strange person -- >> he was seen as robotic and soulless until the first debate. whatever economic message women had women weren't listening because they thought he was a robot. once he emerged as not robotic, ok, he's not so bad. >> one caveat, i he was, i think some women whom i talked to afterwards including some people who were undecided in their room thought he was trude the president of the united states and rude to the moderator and just pushy -- chris: by the way -- >> also obama was trying to look steely. chris: women like robotic husbands. would you move the couch? would you take out the trash? >> he's not going to win on women's issues.
president obama: i'm barack obama and i approve... this message. anncr: victims. dependent. that's what mitt romney called forty-seven percent... of americans. including people on medicare. but what about his plan for you? romney would replace guaranteed benefits with a voucher system. seniors could pay six thousand dollars more a year. a plan aarp says would undermine medicare. you're no victim...you earned your benefits. don't let mitt romney take them away.
chris: welcome back. mike, tell me something i don't know. >> there are 15 days left in the race. i think bill clinton will be campaigning for barack obama on nearly 11 of 12 of those days. chris: with obama? >> no, no, no, with obama or democrats. >> widely circulated report that hillary clinton had told a magazine that one of her former aides that women not having it all. that she was the catcher in the rye read by the interviewers teenage daughter. so it was completely out of
context. >> oh, my goodness, why. you know, justice scalia took off hunting, guess with who? >> elena kagan. >> you knew. >> in republican circles is where they should throw a hail mary pass in michigan or pennsylvania. romney doesn't really want to but a lot of the super pac groups do. they want to make pennsylvania competitive. >> i've been thinking about that a long time. the big question this week, they have a debate victory bind them. the big question this week, they have a debate victory bind them. who
we're not just voting for the president, we're voting for education, healthcare, our communities, and our planet's future. your vote counts for a lot the more you know. chris: welcome back. they each won a debate. but the third one and that's this week's big question, who has the most at stake? >> the president. he has to be commanding and in
charge of american foreign policy once in for all. >> i agree with that. and the fact that mitt romney doesn't know the interrelationship on foreign policy so the president has a pretty good shot if he can show himself. >> i think it's the president because libya will be the focus and he's got to get that story straight once and for all. >> it's clearly romney because he is still behind. he's got to remember there isn't a debate where you get every last point in. it's a leadership stage. he needs to convey a larger appearance rather than getting caught behind a point by point -- chris: the first of the two candidates must say we must bosester the economy. it's essential to say that. if romney's going to say that first, it will hurt obama a lot. who ever brings up the economy will win the debate. thanks to my guests. that's the show. thanks for watching. see you back here next week.